I am NOT sending my turducken back! It's been ordered from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it's arriving on Wednesday and it feeds 15 so it's a done deal. Of course I didn't tell World and U.S. pairs champion in figure skating Tai Babilonia that when she was at Rockefeller Rink this afternoon for PETA's "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is an animal rights organization and its "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign is meant to raise awareness about the millions of animals who are trapped, drowned, beaten, electrocuted, forced to watch the new episodes of Law and Order (dear lord, why are the old ones so good and the new ones so bad?), and other forms of torture, for their fur.And they definitely don't want you to eat any animals, fish or birds just because you're hungry. They encourage eating whole wheat, oatmeal, beans, corn, peas, mushrooms, broccoli, you know, the ingredients in my turducken stuffing.
Tai wore flesh-colored underwear (see right) and carried a "No Fur" sign as she skated around the rink before being escorted out of the complex (see below). She wants us to cross fur off our Black Friday shopping lists to support PETA and the sweet sweet animals whom we love to wear during the cold weather days. Again, I didn't see anything on the sign referencing my turducken so it will be a happy Thanksgiving after all.
PETA sent out hundreds of media alerts so the rink was unusually filled with lots of photographers and camera people perched along the steps. I was watching nearby and initially thought, how in the world is she going to get by security? After all, particularly during these holiday times, the rink is pretty family-centric -- will the media folks be disappointed if she can't get down to the ice? But, the powers that be at Rockefeller Rink decided that it was easier for them to give Tai one minute to skate around for her cause, give her the photo moment, and then get her off the ice. She didn't need to be dragged off -- she stayed for the minute and that was that. A little surprising that the rink allowed this, but as you can see from the photo at right, the costume was skimpy but we've seen skimpier, so maybe that was the determining factor. Perhaps management saw beforehand what she would be wearing before allowing her to come down and skate around.
Video of Tai at Rockefeller Rink coming up tomorrow! In the meantime, below is my interview with her a few months ago at a benefit for Figure Skating in Harlem. She spoke about turning 50, moving from Los Angeles to Ashland, Oregon, taking care of her son as a single mom, and seemed very philosophical about the second half of her life. Maybe that's why she agreed to do this for PETA. Something along the lines of, "Life is short, no regrets, support my causes, do good, be good, stay sane."